Hi, my name is Bob. My wife Angela and I are high school houseparents here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, working with girls in grades 9-12. At St. Joseph’s, the high school

Bob, Houseparent

Bob, Houseparent

students live on campus but attend Chamberlain Public High School. They participate in sports, clubs and other extra-curricular activities. It’s a great way to stay involved with the community!

Houseparents normally have summer off. This summer, however, we stayed on campus to work in one of the break homes. But not just any break home… this one was special – the Transitional Living Program for our oldest students.

Two homes were open to offer this opportunity to St. Joseph’s upperclassmen – one for the girls and one for the boys. Each student was ready to see what

a dorm-style, away-from-home lifestyle would be like. It was designed to be much like they will experience in college.

The program had several ground rules:

  • Student had to have a job and provide their own transportation to and from that job.
  • Each student was responsible for their own preparation of meals, laundry and housekeeping.
  • Those who had the privilege of driving St. Joseph’s cars (which most of them did) were responsible for their own gas and oil as needed.
  • Each student could come and go as they chose, provided they let the on-duty staff know where they were going and when they planned to return. They also had to check in by phone from time to time.
  • They had to return by curfew and could not leave the Chamberlain area.
  • Sunday morning all students attended church services on campus. If they were working, they attended Mass elsewhere during a time they were not working.

    St. Joseph’s high school students live on campus but attend Chamberlain Public High School.

    At Chamberlain High School, St. Joseph’s students participate in sports, extra-curricular activities and more.

Our eight students had various jobs, both on St. Joseph’s campus and in the Chamberlain community. We had students work in the restaurant field, at a car dealership and at a hotel.

After the six-week program concluded, the students went home to finish their summer vacation and spend some time with their families. Hopefully, they went with a better understanding of work ethic and independence that will help them in the future.

We had a great group of students and really enjoyed spending some of their summer with them. We saw some real life changes in this group of wonderful, mature, young adults and hope the experience will impact their future in a positive way.

Thank you for the support you give St. Joseph’s Indian School to make these opportunities possible for the Lakota students!

Bob, Houseparent

And so it begins!!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School where the school year is beginning to take shape. New staff orientation began this week and all staff will be next week.  August 9 will see the student homes open and Monday morning, August 10, school will get underway.

I must commend our Human Resources Department for their hard work this summer. They seem to have filled all the slots needed to keep our programs running smoothly and make sure the Lakota (Sioux) children have everything they need when they arrive on campus.  We look forward to the skills and abilities our new staff will bring to enhance the skills of our veteran staff.

As some of you may be aware, I was away to attend my niece’s wedding in Colorado Springs.  It went well and I enjoyed the chance to catch up with my siblings and their families. One of my brothers accompanied me on the drive back and we hit Yellowstone, the Little Bighorn Battlefield and Devil’s Tower. The drive was truly breathtaking; we encountered wide open vistas in Wyoming, towering peaks in Grand Teton National Park, the big splash of Old Faithful going off right on time and the ruggedness of Yellowstone’s terrain.

Join the Lakota children for St. Joseph’s annual powwow September 19!

St. Joseph’s annual powwow will be Sept. 19. We hope you can join us!

The Little Bighorn Battlefield had several informative Rangers who related facts about the battle.  Since my last visit, they have erected a monument to the Native Americans who took part in the engagement.  In coming out of the park we turned East on US Highway 212 and headed to Devil’s Tower which, when you draw near to it, resembles a shark fin above the trees.  It is truly magnificent. In Lakota tradition, this mountain tells the story of several young girls who were saved from bears.

My brother and I ended the trip with a swing through the Badlands, starting at the western entrance near Wall, South Dakota. We came out at Cactus Flats where there is a Minute Man Guided Missile display. We had hoped to be able to tour, but there were no tickets left for admission.

I hope you have been able to take some time off this summer and enjoy exploring our great country! One word of advice if you are over 62 and planning a trip: be sure to get a “$10 senior pass” which is good for life at all National Parks, except Mt. Rushmore.

Sturgis, South Dakota is gearing up to host the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally celebrating the 75th anniversary of the gathering.  Even though the ‘official’ start isn’t until next week, many are coming early.  They are expecting a million people!

We won’t have quite that many at our annual powwow celebration on September 19, but we are looking forward to it nonetheless. All St. Joseph’s powwow events are open to the public – we’d love to have you join us! To learn more about our celebration or to register, call 1-800-584-9200 or visit www.stjo.org/powwow.

May God’s blessings continue to be with you and those you love.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Good morning! My name is Sandi and I work with the Facilities

Sandi,  Facilities Administrative Assistant

Sandi, Facilities Administrative Assistant

Crew at St. Joseph’s, helping plan and keep projects on track.

The dog days of summer are flying by! When you’re busy, times flies, and our facilities crew is busy! While the Lakota (Sioux) children are gone for these few short weeks, they are working on numerous projects.

In order to better prepare our students for living on their own after high school graduation, we have remodeled one of our buildings into a High School Transition home where four senior girls will live this fall. Here, they will experience a little more independence than the traditional high school home, but still have houseparents close by for anything that might come up.

The health center has also been remodeled this summer; the increased space will accommodate the increasing number of student and staff medical appointments.

The kitchen in our dining hall kitchen also received an upgrade. In order to meet regulations, new cabinetry was installed, as well as new elevator to replace the old.

Tuck-pointing is the process of repairing mortar joints in brick masonry walls by replacing old mortar with new mortar.

This summer, spots on 10 different buildings received tuck-pointing work.

We love our spot along the Missouri River, but the shifting ground causes issues with buildings that need to be monitored constantly. Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel had some problems due to settling, so repairs were done on doors and ceilings.

Tuck-pointing is the process of repairing mortar joints in brick masonry walls by replacing old mortar with new mortar. This is a continual process on St. Joseph’s campus because of our older brick buildings. This summer, spots on 10 different buildings received this work.

In order for our students and staff to be safe and secure, new lights are replacing old unstable lights along our main street coming into campus, playground, and school parking lot. We are replacing them with LED lights, making them more efficient and requiring less maintenance.

New cameras were put in the school and radon testing was done in buildings throughout campus.

St. Joseph’s students have enjoyed the pool for many, many years. Because of the pool’s age, it was due for some upgrades. The concrete was repaired and a liner installed. A new filtration system was added which greatly reduces the use of chlorine, and making it safer to operate as well as swim in.

Many student homes received new, more efficient appliances this summer to help prevent breakdowns and save on energy costs. All the homes had carpets cleaned, so they are fresh and ready for the students’ arrival on August 9!

All of this was more than enough to keep the Facilities Crew busy, but Mother Nature had other ideas and sent two wind storms our way in June. The storms, one on a Friday and the next on Sunday, gave the crew more than a week’s worth of work just cleaning up.

I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to all of our donors for making all these projects possible and working together to create a beautiful school and campus for the children and families we serve. God bless you for your kindness!


Facilities Administrative Assistant

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain


Things are quiet on St. Joseph’s campus; summer programs have ended and there are no Lakota students on campus, if only for a few weeks. Our facilities crew is finishing up a variety of projects, getting the campus in shape for the new school year which starts August 10.


This year, we’re very excited to have our seniors in high school participate in a new independent living program. Students will have more responsibilities and more freedom to help prepare them for their next step in life – college, tech school, the military or the workforce.


Next week, we’ll be starting to hit the bricks for the upcoming school year. New staff will be on campus to begin their orientation and training. The first week in August, all staff return. Our students will come in on August 9 and classes will begin August 10. Our high school students, who attend Chamberlain Public High School, will begin sports practices. The new school year is almost here!


As mentioned last week, I am in Colorado for my niece’s wedding. It all turned out well and most of my family was able to attend. My brothers and I went golfing. I had some good shots and interesting putts, but I know how Tiger feels concerning his British Open experience. The altitude in Colorado Springs, at the base of Pike’s Peak, does affect you. I would tee the ball up and then have to pause a moment to give my head the chance to clear.


Leaving Colorado, I am heading across Wyoming to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. I will also visit to the Little Big Horn battlefield and then Devil’s Tower. I’m also going to try and work in a trip to a Minuteman Missile Site near Wall, South Dakota before reaching Chamberlain. One of my brothers, now retired, is going to join me.


I hope that any of you who are taking vacation trips will also have a great time and safe travels. Perhaps some of you are saving your vacation to come out to our annual powwow on September 19. We would love to have you visit St. Joseph’s Indian School!


May God continue to bless and reward you for your generosity towards the ministry taking place at St. Joseph’s Indian School.


God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

The weather has continued to make for an interesting summer in central South Dakota. Last Sunday, several areas around us hit 100+ degrees. Added to the heat was smog from the fires burning in Canada. Though it has been hot, the landscape looks beautiful from all the rain we have been blessed with. Green is still the predominate color. Hopefully, we’ll continue to receive rain so the crops and grass flourish.
The campus is quiet now as the summer programs for our Lakota (Sioux) students are coming to an end. The younger students’ home finished this past Wednesday, and the high school home will end on Friday.
Next on the agenda will be orientation for St. Joseph’s new staff starting July 27. All staff will gather the week of August 3 for various meetings. The students will return August 9 and classes begin on August 10! Where has the summer gone?
Last weekend was special for some of those working in extended ministries supported by St. Joseph’s.
On Sunday, there was a special Mass in Marty, South Dakota to honor the Native American ministry in the Sioux Falls Diocese (which is celebrating its 125th anniversary). At the Mass, Deacon Steven McLaughlin gave an address. St. Joseph’s provided some transportation for parishioners from St. Joseph’s parish in Fort Thompson, South Dakota, which is staffed by members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. That is the parish Deacon Steven is assigned to, but he also works at the other six parishes on the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian Reservations.
On Monday I was at a board meeting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, where we have the women’s shelter and the youth residence. At the end of the meeting, Mr. John Lemke was honored for his 21 years of service as a board member. He is still active in the ministry as the treasurer.
I’ll be heading out this week to take part in my niece’s wedding in Colorado Springs this coming weekend. Sounds like most of my brothers and sisters are going to make it with their families, so it will be a mini-family reunion as well.
I hope you all have a great week. As a way of saying thanks for your generosity and many kindnesses, you will be remembered in our Monthly Novena of Masses, the 11th through the 19th.
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Fr. Anthony, Fr. Joe and Mike were present when John received his award for years of service.

Fr. Anthony is pictures with Fr. Joseph Dean, SCJ pastor of the SCJ team covering the six parishes, Mr. Lemke, and Mr. Mike Tyrell, St. Joseph’s President.

The thesaurus offers such synonyms to spontaneity as naturalness,

Cathy, Houseparent

Cathy, Houseparent

freedom and impulsiveness. What a way to describe the summer break home at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

The structure of time is different. Routines are missing but not missed. There is plenty of unscheduled time to fill with spontaneous adventure: riding bikes and then ditching them and running into the woods to build (or add to) teepee-like forts – one for the boys and one for the girls. Finding a dead bird while playing outdoors becomes a search for the perfect burial spot complete with prayer and a homemade headstone. Walking to town to go swimming may include rolling down grassy hills at Barger Park or stopping at the Derby for a cookie. For now, there is no “have to.”

One of the children’s favorite things to do (still) is to go out to the new playground at St. Joseph’s. One recent afternoon, there was a noticeable shift in mood on the playground.

It could have been because of sun shining too brightly… or just being tired. Instead of mirth and mischief there were complaints and grouchiness. The decision to move on from the park was simple. On to the next thing!

Except no one could agree on anything… We moved to a grassy area and just sat. We talked about what they were experiencing and the next moment throwing handfuls of grass in random directions. “Random” meaning in my direction…

I was covered in green and laughter! Then Scott, one of St. Joseph’s Family Service Counselors, appeared and invited us to be part of a prayer circle with the high school students. Within moments, the children went from feeling restless, to rolling around in the grass, to actively praying. No planning necessary.


I am partial to spontaneity and the idea of being open to “Divine Appointments.” One afternoon a student, I’ll call him R, appeared to be very unhappy. I asked him if he would be willing to help carry some things back to another home.


His response seemed more like a test than just a “no.”

I turned away and then heard a quieter “Ok – sure.” I must have passed the test.

So I gathered up the supplies while R enlisted the help of his younger brother A. I let them lead the way, which seemed important, even though I would have preferred staying away from the mosquito-infested grass. Moving quickly, wanting to complete this chore and move on to the next unplanned activity, I almost missed our divine appointment.


A baby bird was perched on the back of the bench. I turned and saw R and the bird, starting at each other with no more than two feet between them.

Why isn’t this bird flying away?

Something important was happening.

A and I stopped at a distance and watched in awe at the connection happening between R and this delicate-looking bird.

“Look we are both the same!” exclaimed R.

Both R and the bird had a bit of white hair on top of their dark heads. The boy and the bird seemed taken with each other.

Then, perhaps because of the awkward load we were carrying, all of us started walking again. I wish we hadn’t. A spell seemed to have broken. The bird continued to watch as R walked away.

He wondered out loud if the bird would still be there after we finished. It was. This time A cautiously approached and the bird quickly flew away.

Something then dawned on R and a smile brightened his face. He turned to face me, his gaze saying “See I am special. This bird that looks like me told me so.”

A tear fell as the purity of this moment hit hard. It transformed this child with his very bad mood, into feeling something very extraordinary.

To have correctly experienced this natural, unplanned and unprompted event, you kind of had to be there. It loses something in the written delivery. Thinking of it, even now, brings up emotion. I hope R clings to this spontaneous and significant moment forever…

He really is exceptional. A bird that looks like him told him so.



In the summer break home at St. Joseph’s, there’s free time for ice cream breaks and relaxation.

The Lakota children in the summer break home enjoy a spontaneous stop for ice cream on a warm afternoon.


Greetings! My name is Bette. My husband Mike and I have recently moved to South Dakota to work as houseparents for St. Joseph’s Indian School. It has been a joy working

Bette and her husband Mike recently moved to Chamberlain to be houseparents at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Bette and one of the summer students at the local library.

here in the summer break home. The students attend school for a few hours each morning and then our afternoons are filled with many fun activities.

We have students in our break home who will be in the second grade through ninth grade next year. Some of the younger students have enjoyed weaving potholders and some of the older students have learned how to make knitted hats using a round loom. Everyone has enjoyed making muffins and sugar cookies from scratch.

One student recently celebrated a birthday, so we had the joy of giving her a party complete with cupcakes and candles and party games. We also made homemade ice cream by shaking cream, sugar and vanilla in a baggie surrounded by ice.

We love celebrating summer birthdays!

Happy birthday Aralyn!

Some of the students guessed we were making cheese, but we kept it a secret to the end. We shook the bags for about 10 minutes – there were a lot of sore arms, but it was worth it when they got to taste the final results!

In the past few weeks, we have gone to the movies, had a picnic, gone bowling and, of course, out to Dairy Queen and McDonald’s for ice cream on a warm day. There are a lot of activities planned for the Fourth of July including a parade, car show and rodeo here in town. Next week, there will be a special party to celebrate the last day of school (I know the students will feel sad and need some cheering up – ha ha!).

The students have also attended our local library’s summer reading program. This year they have a super hero theme. One student was overheard saying this was “way cool”

as he designed his very own super hero shield and decorated it with stickers. They got to perform superhero dances, listen to stories and make special masks as well.

One very busy spot has been our Chamberlain Community Pool. It received a face lift this spring with the addition of a 100 foot curvy slide and a water basketball hoop. It has kept our kids very happy on warm days!

There is a playground right next to the pool, so the students have the best of both worlds. When we are not at the pool, students can often be found riding their bikes around campus or using a scooter or two.

Students created 200 luminary bags for the Relay for Life.

Students worked hard to design luminary bags for the local Relay for Life.

Our students truly have warm, giving hearts and have embraced the idea of helping with our local Relay for Life this year. We are assisting with the decoration of the paper bag luminaires that will light the pathway during the Relay.

The students listened to a story that was written by a young child diagnosed with cancer to gain a better understanding as well as increased empathy for those undergoing treatment.

Mike and I have been proud of the amount of care and attention that each bag has received. The kids really want to do a great job in making these special for the recipients. We have about 200 bags to decorate and are almost finished.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of the activities that have gone on here in the summer! The summer break home has been an eventful place filled with wonderful memories of a summer spent with beautiful kids.




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